DELIVERED BEFORE THE
^ociety of the Army and f^avy of
the (Confederate ^tates
IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND,
On January 19th, 1894, at the Academ)- of Music,
COLONEL CHARLES MARSHALL,
A. p. C. and Military Secretary to Gen'l R. B. LEE.
PRINTED BY THE SOCIETY.
GUGGENHEIMER, WElL & CO., BAI^TIMORE,
PARTING OF GENERALS LEE AND JACKSON AT CHANCELLORSVILLE.
DBLIVERED BEFOR.K THE
^ociety of the P^xmj and f^avy of
the (Confederate ^t^tes
IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND,
On January 19th, 1894, at the Academy of Music,
COLONEL CHARLES MARSHALL,
A. D. C. and Military Secretary to Gen'l R. E. LfiE.
PRINTED BY THE SOCIETY.
GUGGENHEIMER, WElly & CO., BAI,TIM0RE,
JHE STORY OF APPOMATTOX,
COLONEL CHARLES MARSHALL.
When old soldiers and sailors meet for a talk about the
war, it must be admitted that they sometimes forget the
reverence due the divinity commonly spoken of as the God-
dess of Truth.
For my part, I have heard events that occurred under my
own eyes described in such a way that I failed to recognize
- A distinguished Confederate officer who was dangerously
wounded in one of the battles in Virginia, but not having
lost consciousness remembered those who bore him from the
field, told me that if all the men who had claimed that they
assisted in that charitable work had been present in fact on
the occasion and had taken part in the engagement the odds
as to numbers would have been greatly in favor of the Con-
federate army. In fact, some of the war stories 1 have heard
remind me of an anecdote General Lee once told me of
General Zachary Taylor.
I was in General Lee's tent one day just before the battle
of Chancellorsville, when an officer who had been with a
scouting party came in with a report. The report was not
a little affected by the excitement that usually begins to be
felt when an engagement is impending, and did not in the
least understate the number of the enemy that the scouting
party had seen. General Lee listened very quietly and at-
tentively to the narrative, which bore on its face evidence of
its own want of probability, though the narrator may have
believed it to be accurate. When the officer left the tent
General Lee said in his grave way :
^'That report reminds me of something I heard General
Taylor say, when I was with his army in Mexico, before I
joined General Scott's, As we advanced into the interior of
the country, there were rumours of the approach of General
Santa Anna with an overwhelming force, and there was more
or less excitement and anxiety on the subject. No considerable
force of Mexicans had in fact been seen, and the alleged
army of Santa Anna was left to the imagination, which
always exaggerates the unknown and unseen. One day a
cavalry officer came to General Taylor and reported that he
had seen 20,000 Mexicans, with 250 pieces of artillery. Gen-
eral Taylor said to him : ' Captain, do you say that you saw
that force ? ' The captain asserted that he had seen it.
Thereupon General Taylor remarked : ' Captain, if you say
you saw it, of course I must believe it, but I would not have
believed it if I had seen it myself.' "
This tendency to exaggerate and invent in describing
events that excite great interest, and particularly such as ap-
peal to the feelings and passions of men, makes itself felt
long after the events have occurred, and impairs the value of
history. We do not yet know with certainty the facts of
the battle of Waterloo, and as to Chancellorsville and Get-
tysburg, although I witnessed both, I sometimes think, in
view of the absolutely irreconcilable accounts we have of
those two engagements, a Bishop Whately might readily
create historic doubts as to whether either was in fact fought.
I am the more impressed with the want of accuracy in
the accounts of military operations by my experience during
the late war. It was my duty to prepare the reports of
General Lee under his directions. To do this, as he required
it to be done, I had first to read all the reports made by the
diflferent commanding" officers, who always forwarded the
reports of all their subordinates, down to company com-
manders. From all these 1 prepared a statement with great
detail, of course using such information as 1 possessed from
my personal knowledge and observation as a staff officer,
and from orders and correspondence.
One of the most difficult things I had to do was to recon-
cile the many conflicting accounts of the same affair. Some-
times this was impossible, and when the matter was impor-
tant enough to warrant it, 1 was required to visit the authors
of the conflicting reports or they were brought together and
required to reconcile or explain their respective narratives.
After exhausting every means to attain entire accuracy, a
more general report of the whole was prepared and sub-
mitted to General Lee, who made such corrections as he
thought proper, and directed the omission of such things as
he deemed unnecessary for a clear understanding of the
subject, and the report thus verified and corrected was then
written for his signature.
One who has had this experience can appreciate the
different ways in which the same thing presents itself to
different minds, especially when the description is written
long after the event, and in the midst of the distractions
incident to active service. Yet it is from such sources as
these that the details of military operations must be derived
by the historian.
If I may be permitted to dwell a little on this subject, I
desire to say that much of this confusion and contradiction
of statement is due to the fact that the narrators of such
things do not always confine themselves strictly to the state-
6 APPOMATTOX. #
ment as to what they did themselves, but are much disposed
to include in their reports what they think was done or
omitted to be done by others.
I remember a striking illustration of this which occurred
during the battle of Fredericksburg.
Fighting on that occasion took place on the right and left
of the Confederate Army, its centre not having been
engaged at all. General Longstreet on the Confederate left
had repulsed the repeated attacks made on the troops posted
at the foot of Marye's Hill, and General Jackson had
repulsed the assault made on our right near Hamilton's
Crossing. The distance between the two scenes of combat
was between three and four miles.
In the afternoon I was sent to the right with an order
to General Jackson, and while looking for him I came
across General D. H. Hill, who commanded a division in
Jackson's corps. As soon as he saw me General Hill
exclaimed '' Well, it is just as usual. This corps does all
the fighting. Those fellows on the left haven't fired a shot
all day, except some little artillery firing." I oflPered, with
great respect, to bet the General a very large apple that
" the fellows on the left " could show two dead in their
front for every one that ''the fellows on the right " could
show. Nearly fifteen hundred Federal dead lay in front of
Marye's Hill, and General Hill did not know that there had
been any fighting there.
With the full knowledge of this tendency to error I now
present to you as accurately as I can the facts of the
surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, about which you
have asked me to talk to you on this occasion when we are
met to celebrate his birthday.
Had you not designated the subject of my remarks I
ight have chosen another for this occasion, but I confess
APPOMATTOX. iH^r 7
that I know of no other event in his life which more
strongly illustrates some of the great qualities that adorned
his character. I shall present our great chieftain to you,
as well as I can, as he appeared under adverse fortunes, and
shall endeavor to show you how he bore himself.
I shall begin my narrative with the opening of the corre-
spondence between General Lee and General Grant.
After the disaster of Sailor's Creek, the army, reduced to
two corps under the command of General Longstreet and
General Gordan, moved through Farmville, where rations
were issued to some of the starving troops. A close pursuit
of the overwhelming army of General Grant made it neces-
sary to remove the wagon trains before all the men could be
supplied, and the remnant of the great Army of Northern
Virginia, exhausted by fight and starvation, moved in the
road to Appomattox Courthouse. On the afternoon of the
7th of April, 1865, General Grant sent to General Lee the
first letter. It read : —
April 7, 1865.
Gen. R. E. Lee, Commanding C. S. A. :
General — The result of the last week must convince you
of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the
Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is
so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the respon-
sibility of any further effusion of blood by asking of you
the surrender of that portion of the Confederate States
Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia. Very
respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.
There was some difference of opinion among the general
officers as to the nature of the reply to be made to General
Grant's letter, some thinking that it was yet possible to save
the remnant of the army. Finally, General Lee decided to
send the following answer to General Grant's letter : —
April 7, 1865.
I have received your note of this date. Though not en-
tertaining the opinion you express of the hopelessness of
further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern
Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion
of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition,
ask the terms you will offer on condition of its surrender.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee, General.
To Lieut.-Gen. U. S. Grant, Commanding Armies of the
The next day General Grant replied as follows : —
April 8, 1865.
Gen. R. E. Lee, Commanding C. S. A. :
General — Your note of last evening in reply to mine of
same date, asking the conditions on which I will accept the
surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, is just received.
In reply, I would say that, peace being my great desire, there
is but one condition that I insist upon, namely, that the men
and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up
arms again against the Government of the United States,
until properly exchanged.
I will meet you, or will designate officers to meet any
officers you name for the same purpose, at any point agree-
able to you, for the purpose of arranging definitely the terms
upon which the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia
will be received. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.
It will be observed that General Grant, in this letter,
manifested that delicate consideration for his great adversary
which marked all his subsequent conduct toward him. He
offered to have the terms of the capitulation arranged by
officers to be appointed for the purpose by himself and
General Lee, thus sparing the latter the pain and mortifi-
cation of conducting personally the arrangements for the
surrender of his army.
I have no doubt that this proposition proceeded from the
sincere desire of General Grant to do all in his power to
spare the feelings of General Lee, but it is not unworthy of
remark that when Lord Cornwallis opened his correspon-
dence with General Washington, which ended in the surren-
der at Yorktown, his lordship proposed in his letter of Octo-
ber 17, 1781, "a cessation of hostilities for 24 hours, and
that two officers may be appointed by each side to meet
at Mr. Moore's house to settle terms for the surrender of the
posts of York and Gloucester."
In view of this letter, and of the fact that Cornwallis
declined to attend the ceremony of the surrender of his
army, deputing General O'Hara to represent him on that
occasion, it is very plain that his lordship shrunk from
sharing with his army the humiliation of surrender.
. General Grant's letter oifered General Lee an oppor-
tunity to avoid the trial to which the British commander
felt himself unequal. But General Lee was made of
different stuff. It is not without interest to recall what
General Lee's father, Light Horse Harry Lee, says of the
conduct of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
In '' Lee's (Light Horse Harry's) Memoirs of the War,"
the author, who was a witness of all that occurred, says :
" Every eye was turned searching for the British Com-
mander-inXhief, anxious to look at that man, heretofore so
much the object of their dread. All were disappointed.
Cornwallis held himself back from the humiliating scene,
obeying emotions which his great character ought to have
stifled. He had been unfortunate; not from any false step
or deficiency on his part, but from the infatuated policy of
his superior and the united power of his enemy brought to
bear upon him alone. There was nothing with which he
could reproach himself; there was nothing with which he
could reproach his brave and faithful army ; why not, then,
appear at its head in the day of its misfortune, as he had
always done in the day of triumph? The British general
in this instance deviated from his general line of conduct,
dimming the splendour of his long and brilliant career."
Little did the father think when he wrote these words
that he was marking the arduous path of duty along which
his son was one day to be called upon to walk. That son
was worthy of such a father and of such teaching.
As I said on another occasion : "Through the pain and
humiliation of his position his great career about to close
in defeat, and all that he had done about to be made
unavailing, he saw the path of duty and he trod it with as
firm a step and as brave a heart and as lofty a mien as if
it had been the Way of Triumph."
The march was continued during the 8th of April with
little interruption from the enemy, and in the evening we
halted near Appomattox Courthouse, General Lee intend-
ing to march by way of Campbell Courthouse, through
Pittsylvania county, toward Danville, with a view of open-
ing communication with the army of General Joseph E.
Johnston, then retreating before General Sherman through
North Carolina. General Lee's purpose was to unite with
General Johnston to attack Sherman or call Johnston to his
aid in resisting Grant, whichever might be found best. The
exhausted troops were halted for rest on the evening of
the 8th of April near Appomattox Courthouse, and the
march was ordered to be resumed at 1 o'clock a. m. 1 can
convey a good idea of the condition of affairs by telling my
When the army halted on the night of the 8th, General
Lee and his staff turned out of the road into a dense wood
to seek some rest. The General had a conference with
some of the principal officers, at which it was determined
to try to force our way the next morning with the troops
of Gordon, supported by the cavalry under General Fitz
Lee, the command of Longstreet bringing up the rear, with
my comrades of the staff, and staff officers of General
Longstreet and General Gordon, I sought a little much-
We lay upon the ground near the road, with our saddles
for pillows, our horses picketed near by, eating the bark of
trees for want of better provender, our faces covered with
the capes of our overcoats to keep out the night air. Soon
after 1 o'clock I was aroused by the sound of a column of
infantry marching along the road. We were so completely
surrounded by the swarming forces of General Grant that
at first when I awoke I thought the passing column might
be Federal soldiers.
I raised my head and listened intently. My doubts
were quickly dispelled. I recalled the order to resume the
march at that early hour and knew that the troops I heard
were moving forward to endeavour to force our way through
the lines of the enemy at Appomattox Courthouse. I soon
knew that the command that was passing consisted in part
at least of Hood's old Texas brigade.
It was called the Texas Brigade, although it was at
times composed in part of regiments from other States.
Sometimes there was a Mississippi regiment* 'sometimes an
Arkansas regiment and sometimes a Georgia regiment
mingled with the Texans, but all the strangers called them-
selves Texans and all fought like Texans.
On this occasion I recognized these troops as they passed
along the road in the dead of night by hearing one of
them repeat the Texan version of a passage of Scripture
with which I was familiar — I mean with the Texan version.
You will readily recall the original text when 1 repeat the
Texan rendition of it that fell upon my ear as I lay in the
woods by the roadside that dark night. The version was
as follows :
"The race is not to them that's got
The longest legs to run,
Nor the battel to that peopel
That shoots the biggest gun.
This simple confession of faith assured me that the
immortal brigade of Hood's Texans was marching to battle
in the darkness.
Soon after they passed we were all astir and our bivouac
was at an end. We made our simple toilet, consisting
mainly of putting on our caps and saddling our horses.
We then proceeded to look for something to satisfy our
now ravenous appetites.
Somebody had a little cornmeal, and somebody else had
a tin can, such as is used to hold hot water for shaving. A
fire was kindled, and each man in his turn, according to
rank and seniority, made a can of cornmeal gruel and was
allowed to keep the can until the gruel became cool enough
to drink. General Lee, who reposed, as we had done, not
far from us, did not, as far as I remember, have even such
refreshments as I have described.
This was our last meal in the Confederacy. Our next
was taken in the United States, and consisted mainly of a
generous portion of that noble American animal whose
strained relations with the great Chancellor of the German
Empire made it necessary at last for the President of the
United States to send an Ohio man to the Court of Berlin.
"Tantas componere lites."
As soon as we had all had our turn at the shaving can
we rode toward Appomattox Courthouse, when the sound
of guns announced that Gordon had already begun the
attempt to open the way.
He forced his way through the cavalry of the enemy only
to encounter a force of infantry far superior to his own
wearied and starving command. He informed General Lee
that it was impossible to advance further, and it became
evident that the end was at hand.
General Lee had replied to the letter of General Grant
of the 8th of April, which I have read, as follows : —
April 8, 1865.
To Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, Commanding Armies
of the United States :
General— I received at a late hour your note of to-day.
In mine of yesterday I did not intend to propose the sur-
render of the Army of Northern Virginia, but to ask the
terms of your proposition. To be frank, I do not think the
emergency has arisen to call for the surrender of this army ;
but as the restoration of peace should be the sole object of
all, I desire to know whether your proposals will lead to that
end. I cannot, therefore, meet you with a view to sur-
render the Army of Northern Virginia; but as far as your
proposal may affect the Confederate States' forces under
my command, and tend to the restoration of peace, I should
be pleased to meet you at 10 a. m. to-morrow, on the old
stage road to Richmond, between the picket lines of the
two armies. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee, General.
No reply to this letter had been received when early on
the morning- of April 9 General Lee arrived near Appo-
mattox Courthouse, which was occupied by the enemy.
According to the proposal contained in his letter to General
Grant of the 8th of April, General Lee, attended by myself,
and with one orderly, proceeded down the old stage road
to Richmond to meet General Grant, and while riding to
the rear for this purpose he received the message of General
Gordon that his andvance was impossible without reinforce-
ments. We rode through the rear guard of the army, com-
posed of the remnants of Longstreet's corps. They had
thrown up substantial breastworks of logs across the roads
leading to the rear, and cheered General Lee as he passed
in the way they had cheered many a time before. Their
confidence and enthusiasm were not one whit abated by
defeat, hunger and danger. It was lucky for the Secretary
of the Treasury that this rear guard was not permitted to
try its hand at increasing the pension roll with which he
is now struggling. Those men made no fraudulent pen-
sioners. When they were done with a man, he or his
representatives had an indisputable claim to a pension under
any kind of a pension law. But soon as General Lee
received the report of General Gordon as to the state of
affairs in front, he directed that officer to ask for a suspen-
sion of hostilities and proceeded at once to meet General
General Lee, with an orderly in front bearing a flag of
truce, had proceeded but a short distance after passing
through our rear guard when we came upon the skirmish
line of the enemy andvancing to the attack.
I went forward to meet a Federal officer who soon after-
ward made his appearance coming toward our party.. This
officer proved to be Lieutenant-Colonel Whittier of the
staff of the late General Humphreys, whose division was
immediately in our rear, and Colonel Whittier delivered to
me General Grant's reply to the letter of General Lee of
April 8, which I have read, declining to meet General Lee
to discuss the terms of a general pacification on the ground
that General Grant possessed no authority to deal with the
April 9, 1865.
To General R. E. Lee, Commanding C. S. A.:
General — Your note of yesterday is received. As I have
no authority to treat on the subject of peace, the meeting
proposed for 10 a. m. to-day could lead to no good. I will
state, however. General, that I am equally anxious for peace
with yourself, and the whole North entertains the same feel-
ing. The terms upon which peace can be had are well
understood. By the South laying down their arms they
will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of
human lives and hundreds of millions of property not yet
Sincerely hoping that all our difficulties may be settled
without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself, very
respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.
1 took this letter of General Grant back to General Lee,
who was a short distance from the spot, where I met
Colonel Whittier, and General Lee at once dictated the letter
of April 9 to General Grant, which I wrote and gave to
Colonel Whittier. That letter is as follows : —
Headquarters Army, Northern Virginia,
April 9, 1865.
Lieut. -Gen. U. S. Grant, Commanding- United States
General — I received your note this morning in the picket
line, whither I had come to meet you and ascertain definitely
what terms were embraced in your proposition of yesterday
with reference to the surrender of this army.
I now request an interview in accordance with the offer
contained in your letter of yesterday for that purpose.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E Lee, General.
When I placed thii, letter in the hands of Colonel Whittier
I saw indications that the Federal troops in our immediate
front were advancing, and 1 knew that in a few minutes
they would meet the skirmishers of our rear guard. 1 knew
that if such a meeting occurred, to use a common expression,
" the fat would be in the fire," so far as a suspension of
hostilities was concerned,
I therefore told Colonel Whittier the purport of the letter
I had given him, and expressed the hope that hostihties
might be suspended until it could reach General Grant.
Colonel Whittier left me, taking General Lee's letter to
General Grant with him, and saying that he would answer
my request for a suspension of hostilities as soon as he could
submit it to his commanding officer.
He soon returne^-atrd told me that he had reported my
request that hostilities be suspended pending the correspond-
ence, but that he had been directed to say that an attack
had been ordered, and that the officer in command of the
force in our rear had no discretion. He added that General
Grant had left General Meade some time before, and that
General Lee's letter could not reach him in time to receive
orders as to the intended attack.
I expressed my regret and asked him to request the officer
commanding the troops then moving to the attack to read
General Lee's letter to General Grant, saying that perhaps
that officer v/ould feel authorized under the circumstances
to suspend the movement and avoid the useless sacrifice of
1 have said that as General Lee passed through his rear
guard on his way to the place where the conference I have
mentioned took place the men cheered him as of old. They
were the flower of the old Army of Northern Virginia, and
I felt quite sure that if the officer commanding the advanc-
ing Federal troops should consider himself bound by his
orders to refuse my request for a suspension of hostilities
until General Lee's letter could reach General Grant the
rear guard of the Army of Northern Virginia would secure
all the time necessary.
Colonel Whittier again returned to the Federal lines and
when he came back informed me that General Meade had
read the letter of General Lee and had agreed to suspend
operations for one hour.
General Lee then returned to the front and with General
Longstreet proceeded to a small orchard on the foot of the
hill on which the line of battle was formed, where he awaited
the reply of General Grant. He sent a formal request for a
suspension of hostilities into the Federal lines. As he was
much fatigued, a rude couch was prepared under an apple
tree, upon which he reclined until the approach of a flag of
truce from the Federal line in our front was announced.
Soon afterwards Colonel Babcock of General Grant's
staff was conducted to the presence of General Lee and
delivered to him the following letter : —
April 9, 1865.
General R. E. Lee, Commanding Confederate States Armies.
Your note of this date is but this moment (11.59 a. m.)
received. In consequence of my having passed from the
Richmond and Lynchburg road to the Farmville and Lynch-
burg road, I am at this writing about four miles west of
Walker's Church, and will push forward to the front for the
purpose of meeting you. Notice sent to me on this road
where you wish the interview to take place will meet me.
U. S. Grant, Lieut.-General.
Colonel Babcock told General Lee that he had been sent
forward by General Grant with instructions to make any
arrangements for the meeting that General Lee desired
within the Federal or Confederate lines.
General Lee dirrected me to accompany him, with one
orderly, and immediately mounting his horse rode with
Colonel Babcock toward Appomattox Courthouse.
We passed through an infantry force in front of the
village, and General Lee directed me to find a suitable place
for the meeting. I rode forward and asked the first citizen
I met to direct me to a house suitable for the purpose. I
learned afterward that the citizen was Mr. McLean, who had
lived on the battle-field of Bull Run, but had removed to
Appomattox Courthouse to get out of the way of the war.
Mr. McLean conducted me to an unoccupied and unfurnished
house, in a very bad state of repair. I told him that it was
not suitable, and he then offered his own house, to which he
I found a room suitable for the purpose in view and sent
back the orderly who had accompanied me to direct General
Lee and Colonel Babcock to the house.
They came in presently and Colonel Babcock said that, as
General Grant was approaching on the road in front of the
house, it would only be necessary for him to leave an
orderly to direct him to the place of meeting.
General Lee, Colonel Babcock and myself sat in the parlor
for about half an hour, when a large party of mounted men
arrived, and in a few minutes General Grant came into the
room, accompanied by his staff and a number of Federal
officers of rank, among whom was General Ord and Gen-
General Grant greeted General Lee very civilly, and they
engaged for a short time about their former acquaintance
during the Mexican War.
Some other Federal officers took part in the conversation,
which was terminated by General Lee saying to General
Grant that he had come to discuss the terms of the surrender
of his army, as indicated in his note of that morning, and he
suggested to General Grant to reduce his proposition to
General Grant assented and Colonel Parker of his staff
moved a small table from the opposite side of the room and
placed it by General Grant, who sat facing General Lee.
When General Grant had written his letter in pencil he
took it to General Lee, who remained seated.
General Lee read the letter and called General Grant's
attention to the fact that he required the surrender of the
horses of the cavalry as if they were public horses. He told
General Grant that Confederate cavalrymen owned their
horses, and that they would need them for planting a spring
crop. General Grant at once accepted the suggestion and
interlined the provision allowing the retention by the men
of the horses that belonged to them.
The terms of the letter having been agreed to, General
Grant directed Colonel Parker to make a copy of it in ink,
and General Lee directed me to write his acceptance.
Colonel Parker took the light table upon which General
Grant had been writing to the opposite corner of the room,
and 1 accompanied him. There was an inkstand in the room,
but the ink was so thick that it was of no use. I had a
small boxwood inkstand which I always carried, and I gave
it, with my pen, to Colonel Parker, who proceeded to copy
General Grant's letter.
While he was so engaged I sat near the end of the sofa on
which General Sheridan was sitting and we entered into
conversation. In the midst of it General Grant, who sat
nearly diagonally across the room and was talking with Gen-
eral Lee, turned to General Sheridan and said:
" General Sheridan, General Lee tells me that he has some
1,200 of our people prisoners, who are sharing with his men,
and that none of them have anything to eat. How many
rations can you spare?"
General Sheridan replied, " About 25,000."
General Grant turned to General Lee and said, ''General,
will that be enough ? "
General Lee replied. " More than enough."
Thereupon General Grant said to General Sheridan,
" Direct your commissary to send 25,000 rations to General
; General Sheridan at once sent an officer to give the
When Colonel Parker had concluded the copying of
General Grant's letter 1 sat down at the same little table and
wrote General Lee's answer.
I have yet in my possession the original draft of that
answer. It began :
" I have the honour to acknowledge." (General Lee
struck out those words and made the answer read as it now
appears. His reason was that the correspondence ought not
to appear as if he and General Grant were not in immediate
communication.) When General Grant had signed the
copy of his letter made by Colonel Parker and General Lee
had signed the answer, Colonel Parker handed to me Gen-
eral Grant's letter and I handed to him General Lee's reply
and the work was done. Some further conversation of a
general nature took place, in the course of which General
Grant said to General Lee that he had come to the meeting
as he was and without his sword, because he did not wish to
detain General Lee until he could send back to his wagons,
which were several miles away.
This was the only reference made by any one to the sub-
ject of dress on that occasion.
General Lee had prepared himself for the meeting with
more than usual care, and was in full uniform, wearing a
very handsome sword and sash. This was doubtless the
reason of General Grant's reference to himself.
At last General Lee took leave of General Grant, saying
that he would return to his headquarters and designate the
officers who were to act on our side in arranging the details
of the surrender. We mounted our horses, which the orderly
was holding in the yard, and rode away, a number of Fed-
eral officers standing on the porch in front of the house
looking at us.
When General Lee returned to his lines a large number of
men gathered around him, to whom he announced what had
taken place and the causes that had rendered the surrender
Great emotion was manifested by officers and men, but
love and sympathy for their commander mastered every
According to the report of the chief of ordnance less than
8,000 armed men surrendered exclusive of the cavalry. The
others who were present were unarmed, having been unable
to carry their arms from exhaustion and hunger. Many
had fallen from the ranks during the arduous march, and
unarmed men continued to arrive for several days after the
surrender, swelling the number of paroled prisoners greatly
beyond the actual effective force.
I have thus given you an exact narrative of the circum-
stances attending the surrender of General Lee's army, as
far as they fell under my observation. I have endeavoured
to give the facts as they occurred without comment and ex-
cluding everything not immediately connected with the
great event, believing that it possesses sufficient interest in
itself to render comment unnecessary, if not inappropriate.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
013 708 887 3
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